Quirky Attraction: The Cherry Spoon at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

spoonbridge and cherry

Minneapolis Cherry Spoon & Sculpture Garden
Location: Minneapolis, MN (725 Vineland Pl.)
When to visit: Officially open 6 am – midnight, 365 days a year
Cost: Free to walk through (street parking is also free for up to 1 hour)
Time needed: 15-30 minutes
Website: walkerart.org/visit/garden/

About the Minneapolis Cherry Spoon

That giant cherry spoon in Minneapolis is part of a larger sculpture garden you can visit for free. The centerpiece of the garden is “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” an aluminum and stainless steel piece created from 1985 to 1988 by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

cherry sculpture garden

Claes Oldenburg was a major figure in the Pop Art movement, along with folks like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. As the ’80s arrived, he started creating large outdoor works with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen.

Fun fact #1: Claes and Coosje also created the “FREE” stamp in Cleveland and the giant shuttlecocks in Kansas City!

This sculpture was reportedly inspired by a toy Oldenburg acquired 20 years earlier, a spoon resting on a pile of plastic chocolate. He added the cherry to his conception as a nod to happy moments from his childhood.

minneapolis cherry spoon giant

Feel free to pose with the Minneapolis cherry spoon!

 

Spoonbridge and Cherry measures 51.5 feet long, 29.5 feet tall, and 13.5 feet wide. The spoon itself weighs a staggering 5800 pounds, while the cherry weighs 1199 pounds. It sits atop a small pond, which is appropriate since the Twin Cities have a ton of lakes and beaches.

In addition to its aluminum and stainless steel construction, the sculpture is coated in polyurethane enamel, which creates the glossy finish. The sculpture has been repainted a couple times, including in 1995 and 2012.

Fun fact #2: When the giant cherry and spoon were unveiled in 1988, the ceremony included a performance by a group of spoon players. You know, those people who clank spoons together to create music? How cool!

minneapolis cherry spoon fountain

One of the things I didn’t realize from looking at pictures of the Minneapolis cherry spoon is that the top of the cherry is actually a fountain. You can see the stream of water shooting out when you look at the sculpture up close.

Some people wonder if you can walk on the spoonbridge. But no, this piece is for viewing only. There are fences and signs discouraging visitors from approaching the art.

The best part about the giant spoon is that it’s totally free to visit. There is no admission price to stop by the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden!

Spoonbridge and Cherry has become perhaps the most iconic visual associated with Minneapolis, and that’s kinda cool. Just goes to show how much art can influence our society!

Other Things To See at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

This is my favorite sculpture because it’s so freaky. “Without Words” by Judith Shea. It consists of a raincoat, a dress, and a partial face. I don’t have a clue what it means, but isn’t it so artsy?

without words judith shea

There’s plenty more to see as you stroll around the 11-acre grounds. It’s definitely worth a quick detour if you’re in the Twin Cities.

minneapolis cherry spoon - garden art

sculpture garden red piece

sculpture garden from above - spoonbridge and cherry

The Cowles Conservatory is right next door and is also free. If you haven’t gotten your fill of art from the garden, head across the street to the Walker Art Center, which costs $12.

Have you ever visited the Minneapolis cherry spoon and sculpture garden?

About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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2 Comments

    1. I always wonder about the motivation when artists make a piece like that. I figure if it’s too abstract for me to understand, then it must be genius!

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